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Night Lights Classic Jazz


David Brent Johnson

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, David Brent Johnson moved to Bloomington in 1991. He is an alumnus of Indiana University, and began working with WFIU in 2002. Currently, David serves as jazz producer and systems coordinator at the station. His interests include literature, history, music, writing, and movies.

Recent posts by David Brent

June 10, 2015


Miles Davis Blackhawk

Miles Between: Miles Davis 1961-1963

As the 1960s began Miles Davis entered a period of transition, first trying to find a saxophonist to replace John Coltrane and then a new rhythm section.

May 15, 2015


Young Keith Jarrett

Birth: Early Keith Jarrett

Jarrett's early solos, one critic said, "contain in them the entire history of jazz piano."

February 17, 2015


The cover for Samuel Charters' and Leonard Kunstadt's chronicle of NYC jazz.

Jazz Capitals Of America: A Bibliography

Books about the urban centers of 20th century America that played host to vital proving grounds for generations of jazz musicians.

January 5, 2015


Cover for John Coltrane's OFFERING cd

Best Historical Jazz Releases 2014

Night Lights' annual, highly-subjective look back at the year's historical jazz releases.

October 13, 2014


album cover for Bud Powell's BOUNCING WITH BUD lp

The Scene Changes: The Life And Music Of Bud Powell, Part 2

Struggle, rebirth, and return: Bud Powell biographer Peter Pullman joins us again as we chronicle the final years of pianist Bud Powell.

October 10, 2014


Cover of Peter Pullman's Bud Powell biography WAIL

Time Flies: The Life And Music Of Bud Powell, Part 1

In the mid-1940s Bud Powell emerged as the leading pianist of bebop, but the personal troubles that would dog him throughout his career were emerging as well.

October 8, 2014


A view of Times Square and New York City at night from atop the Empire State Building.

Night Lights, Big City: Night Lights Debuts On WBGO This Week

Big Apple news: Night Lights will now be carried every Saturday by WBGO, which broadcasts to the New York City market.

October 8, 2014


The cover of Charlie Haden's Montreal Tapes trio album with Geri Allen and Paul Motian.

Ramblin’ Man: Charlie Haden

A tribute to the late bassist, whose career encompassed the avant-garde, spirituals, noir movie themes, pastoral ballads, and straightahead jazz.

September 2, 2014


The cover of Kenny Dorham's Quiet Kenny LP

The Durable Kenny Dorham

The career of a talented and perennially-unsung trumpeter.

August 26, 2014


Cover for Charlie Parker big Band LP

Big Band Bird: Charlie Parker With The Big Bands

We think of Charlie Parker as a small-group bebop saxophonist, but he came out of the swing era. What did he sound like in a big-band setting?

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This Week On Afterglow

The Billy Strayhorn Songbook

strayhorn gottlieb

Songwriter Billy Strayhorn, Duke Ellington's right-hand man, would have turned 100 on November 29th.

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Afterglow is WFIU's weekly program of jazz and American popular song hosted by David Brent Johnson.

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